Ardha Bhekasana Salutation (No 02)

This Sun Salutation allows you to become a little adventurous during the back bend phase and will hopefully open many more doors and choices for you.

Make sure you are properly warmed up before doing this Sun Salutation because it involves a twists while the body is in a backbend.

If you have a low back injury do the Cobra Twist really low. This allows the spine to have more freedom and less compression occurs around the discs.

If anything aggravates your spine try a mild modification. If your spine gives you signals that this is definitely not good then listen to your body and avoid it or try to modify slightly. Sometimes the simplest little movement can make all the difference. 

Don't do anything that makes your spine hurt the next day. It is a sign that it is aggravating a condition.

These twists in Cobra can be very good for your spine when done lightly but when done forcefully the effects are negative. Try to feel freedom in the joints rather than a deep boundary or as far as you can possibly go.

These sequences are always shown as a flow but a great approach is to start slow and feel the poses a little. Explore the pose. Educate the mind about boundaries and create comfort in the postures then progressively flow faster it will be smooth and easy.

I personally prefer to do the postures fast and then after my body has warmed up a little I hold them.


Begin in Tadasana with the hands placed together in prayer position.

Place the palms perfectly together. Make as much of the skin on the palms touch as possible. Apply this technique to the fingers also. This is an area that can always be improved.

Inhale and stretch the arms over the top of the head.

Tilt lightly forward with the pelvis. As you warm up increase the back bend but in the beginning it best to bend the spine lightly.

Exhale down into a forward bend. Enter a mild boundary when bending down.


Bend the knees slightly if you have a lower back injury or if the hamstrings are not flexible. This will also make breathing easier.

If you prefer to jump back then avoid the step back.

Inhale step the right leg back.

Quite often practitioners keep there head dropped here out of laziness and lack of oxygen. Raise the chin up so that you can stretch the chest and neck between poses.

Breath in when the right leg is stepped halfway back. It easier to get a really deep breath. In time you can learn to breath lightly at the beginning of the motion. This a a key Tip and will really help.

Exhale back to Downward Dog.

Inhale into Plank Pose

Bring the knees down soon if the arms are weak or if the wrists or shoulders are injured. This exercise may worsen your problem because of the bodies weight. 

safety Tip!
Place the knee down with ease and care. The joints in the body are at greater risk of injury when they are twisted and bent during movement. The risk is even greater when a large force like the bodies weight falls upon them.  

Exhale down with the chin and  chest. This posture moves blood to the neck. Good for the thyroid. Perhaps you can remain in the posture for a little while.

It also counter balances the Shoulderstand pose as it stretches the neck the opposite way. Its easier than some of the other poses that are usually performed after the Shoulderstand pose. Both are really good for the Thyroid a gland located in the neck.

Inhale up to Cobra pose. Enter less than shown the first few times. If your back is stiff raise halfway to be safe. Its more beneficial when a proper boundary is found. This is the point of mild resistance. Then modifications are made to increase the area that is being stretched.

If you close the legs the lower back tightens. In the first Cobra the legs are closed. There is more freedom for movement in the lower back when the legs are open. So if you like keep them open.

Exhale into Locust pose. (Legs can push together for inner leg strength or be open for more freedom around the sacrum and lower back)

If you cannot raise then at the same time due to inflexibility try raising one. Just a little is very effective then switch before continuing. This is very healthy for your lower back. Too much is not good.

Inhale up to Upward Facing Cobra pose. Look up and back so that you stretch the neck and upper back also.

Come down to give your spine more space.

Then bend the right leg and place the right hand on the toes.  Push the toes forward and down to stretch the quadriceps muscles on the right leg. There is also an anterior (front) right shoulder stretch.  

Take a few breaths to get into this pose. When you deeply stretch exhale and when you come out of the posture inhale.

The left arm is placed down in the center at a distance away from your body that feels safe and secure.

Stretch the left leg back and up so that the lower back, gluteus muscles and hamstrings are all strengthened.

Inhale when lowering and carefully reverse the opposite way exhaling as you enter.

You can see the right leg is raised.

This pose can be called ardha bhekasana meaning Half Frog.


Exhale down and then inhale into Upward Facing Cobra to balance your spine.





Exhale back to Downward Dog.



Inhale and step the left leg forward.

Exhale and step the back leg forward into a forward bend. Just enter a mild boundary.

Inhale stretch the arms up.

Exhale into Tadasana prayer Position. The sequence can be repeated with the opposite leg stepping back and forward.

Yoga Posture tadasana

Salutation Pose

asana utanasana


Lunge Pose


Downward Facing Dog pose
Adho Mukha Svanasana

Downward Facing Staff Pose
Adho Mukha Dandasana







  Yoga Posture Samabhasana



Cobra pose</a>  Bhujangasana
Parivrtta Bhujangasana





Downward Facing Dog pose
Adho Mukha Svanasana

Lunge Pose



asana utanasana

Salutation Pose

Yoga Posture tadasana
Notes For Beginners!

Try to go through the sequence gently if you are not flexible. Enter everything with slight resistance for this is safer and healthier. Better results come form lightly stretching and less chance of injury.

Yoga Teachers
Be careful about moving your students into spinal twists when doing a backbend like Cobra. Sometimes its best to keep this kind of postures for your home practice as its hard to know who is injured when there are lots of people in your class. Even for the very trained eye. Perhaps if you know your class well but take your time about entering the first time you perform it. 

The Cobra twist has elements of Locust Pose and Frog Pose. The name of this pose could have a combination of these names and include the word twist or revolved (Parivrtta) in Sanskrit. Shorten it because its probably too long and describe the posture names in a non-definitive manner. i.e this pose could be described as Parivrtta Bhujangasana Ardha Bhekasana meaning Revolved Cobra Half Frog pose or just Revolved Half Frog. There are many ways to describe poses. Only say for certain this is the name of the pose if it is really old and well known as that name.

Other Postures that can be sequenced into this Vinyasa:


 The above pose can be sequenced instead of the Cobra Twist that was shown. If you don't link the

Yoga Breathing Techniques

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Perform Ujjayi Pranayama for for 5 minutes. You can choose
Inhale and restrict the air flow to make the sound "ssss". Keep the sound constant and smooth.
Exhale make a sound with the mouth closed that sounds like "hhhhha".

Ujjayi Pranayama mp3
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